So here is my round-up from World Travel Market. What an awesome few days that was, very tiring but extremely inspiring and exciting. I recommend a visit, especially if you’re a travel blogger like me. This place is designed for us!
I started up by attending the press launch of the unveiling of the new space shuttle Atlantis exhibit at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. It was very interesting to learn visitors to the center are going to be able to see Atlantis right up close. The shuttle will lie horizontal across the exhibit space, allowing visitors to see inside and all around the vessel. It opens July 4th 2013.
I’ve been to Florida too many times to count, but somehow I’ve never made the journey to the space centre, so I was amazed to learn many awesome facts about what you can do there. For example they have between 6 and 12 real rocket launches there a year, you can do a space shuttle experience (allowing you to be an astronaut and get a feel for take off – apparently it’s very realistic), also KSC is where space tourism is going to start – XCOR are going to be providing 4 flights a day for civilians for a mere $90,000. But the best info I learnt there was that you can DINE WITH AN ASTRONAUT! I mean, how amazing is that?! You can pay extra and have an awesome conversation with a space man over a nice steak and chips! I mean WOW! I wanna do it…I wanna, I wanna!
Also I was very happy to attend that launch because I also got to nab some free SPACE ICE CREAM! Oh yeahhhhh!
But alongside going press launches like that, I also got the great privilege to meet many other awesome travel bloggers who were also attending, like Caroline Eubanks of Carolineinthecityblog.com, Monique Rubin from MoTravels.com and a whole host of others in the Social Travel Market talks. If you are a fellow travel blogger, you MUST, MUST, MUST attend WTM. It is so crucial on so many levels. It offers amazing networking opportunities, really inspiring and valuable talks about how important social media (and most importantly bloggers) are to the global travel market, a creative space to sink your teeth into and loads and loads of destination inspiration.
My tips to fellow bloggers are as follows:
- Go to as many Social Travel Market talks as you can that are relevant to you (I’d recommend going to the ones aimed at travel industry folk too, because then you can get a feel for what agencies, PR companies, travel marketing guru’s are looking for).
- Talk to other bloggers and see how they are finding it. Make some new blogging pals. Don’t be afraid to say hi, we’re all in the same game after all. What is there to loose?
- Take a notebook, pen and zillions of business cards. I recommend Moo.com (I had mine done on a fast-print for an extra £10 – they came quickly and were really great quality.
- Go up to the stands of the countries you would like to visit. Find the general stand for that particular place (as opposed to the smaller ones inside for hotels and tours etc) and ask if you can get the details of the PR/marketing or media representative for that countries tourism board. Introduce yourself as a blogger and see if you can speak to them in person. Ask if they are looking to work with bloggers for future social media campaigns? Make sure you know your blog stats, should they ask you for them. Then take their details home and drop them a line on Twitter and email. Get them to remember you and see what you hear back.
- Go to the stands that are doing competitions! I entered a Thailand travel blogger’s competition to win a trip to Thailand and a raffle to win vouchers to use at any attraction/venue featured on Attraction World – and guess what?! I won the raffle!!!! I’m now the proud owner of a £250 voucher to use on there! Woooo! So if you don’t enter, you just miss out!
- Don’t be afraid to ask, you’ll never know if you don’t try.
After I’d picked up all the awesome advice I could from Social Travel Market, I mooched around the stalls and believe me when I say, they are much more than just fancy tourism stands.
There is dancing going on up the aisles, people adorned in traditional cultural outfits, food samples to try, bands playing, demonstrations going on….there were even dancing robots to see.
But while I may not have been dancing in the aisles and adorned in feathers myself (as much as I would have liked to), I went to the show in my own costume. Like I said in my previous post World Travel Market 2012, I was going to go as a myself; a travel enthusiast. So I rocked my two favourite map dresses:
And of course I had to go out with the accessories too:
On a fashion front, I have to point out how awesome the Virgin Flight Shop stand was. Very PanAm glamour. Excellent!
So here’s hoping there will be lots of opportunities for us here at GT thanks to WTM. I will certainly be attending next year.
Love and maps Em xoxo